A vibrant young man takes charge of a reluctant team. Not many of us would have guessed that particular choice to hand over the reins to a newbie would change the dimensions of T -20 Cricket around the world. Many of us would dismiss that Sreeshanth catch as pure chance. But there’s more to that moment than what meets the eye. Misbhah’s hara –kiri moment gave us a glimpse the young man’s greatest asset as a captain – his ability to spring surprises with his moves on the field, a trait which would be his trademark during his tenure as captain.
He becomes the centre of attraction. The cricketing world prepares itself for consistent reverberations of his 183. But he surprises once again by giving life to a non-existent role in Indian Cricket – The Finisher. That was his connecting point to an average Indian Fan. A fan who was so used to seeing his team lose from winning positions after the Little Master set the game up so beautifully. The fan who would constantly see his team lose from winning positions.
For a change, we had a man who knew how to steal victories from the nose of his opponents, a marksman who knew when to hit his target. The World Cup arrives and the whole nation waits with bated breath. Will we or won’t we? But once again the man chooses to surprise us by promoting himself up the order. A captain willing to take charge and finish it off for his team and for the man who had been the flag bearer of Indian Cricket for a very long time – SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR.
The Champions Trophy arrives – A trophy which was supposed to be in its last stretch until one moment of Houdini Act changes it all. He hands over the ball to the worst bowler of the day – Ishant Sharma. What the hell was he thinking? The team is already on the verge of losing the match. But all it takes is one delivery to change the course of the match. The wheels come as ball lands in the hands of fielders who seem to stand in the right positions. Another Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat and Champions trophy gets a lifeline. It was the leader’s greatest moment of triumph for the team was entirely his own. There were no traces of the past. They were going to be the future of Indian Cricket.
The Agile Young Man is no longer visible but the never say die attitude might stretch itself for one final moment of glory. You never know. Champions have this remarkable ability to spring a surprise when you least expect them to. It could be a surprise that the cricketing world has never seen before.
Many more Happy Returns of the day to the warhorse who knew how to cross the final hurdle with ease. MSD – These initials will resonate long after the leader is gone.